It’s easy to see how Alyssa Ravasio, founder of Hipcamp, is a conventional success and just leave it at that. Strong academic record – check. Up and coming startup- check. Skills and charisma – check.
But what intrigues us is the philosophy of the girl who loves playing in the sea. When we interviewed her, what struck us most was Alyssa’s consistency in her work and her values, whether it be wanting others to engage in policy (because yes, it’s relevant to the outdoors world), spreading an appreciation for the sea and mountains which she grew up in. Though many of us have to make small compromises to our values every day, Alyssa shows us what it means to be conscious of the big picture.
How are you drawn to the sensation of waves?
I’ve always loved playing with waves. I think Laird Hamilton said it best, waves are nature on a human scale. So many other forces of nature—hurricanes, avalanches, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis—are way too big to for us to safely interact with. But waves are our size; they’re perfect to play with.
I used to spend hours at Stinson Beach, jumping in the waves, intentionally getting caught in the washing-machine, enjoying the loss of control, the feeling of flow, the connection with this greater force that encompasses our entire planet and brings life to us all.
I love that the waves always keep coming, like the heartbeat of the planet.
How are your childhood experiences by the sea manifested today?
My love of the waves eventually led me to surfing. I love surfing because for me, it is a practice, much like yoga. In so many other areas of life I am extremely goal oriented, but surfing is a skill I can eternally improve, an art form so infinitely complex that it cannot be mastered. I find deep peace in these practices because there is no pressure of an endpoint—the path is the goal.
Surfing is a wonderful teacher for me; it always brings me the right lesson at the right moment. Sometimes it’s simple—a deep gratitude for the beauty of our planet. Other times it’s intricate—realizing the most dangerous decision you can make is to hesitate.